Escape the overcrowded tourist destinations…
So you’re probably thinking about your next destination in 2018! Maybe you want to go somewhere like Paris, London or Rome. These places are well-known, romanticized and thousands of people visit them every year. So should be a safe bet, right? Well, these places are well-known for a reason. They offer beauty, good food and are full of culture. But let us tell you why you should skip the popular destinations, escape the crowds and discover an underrated gem!
We have three reasons why you need to go and visit more undiscovered places. When we say “undiscovered” we just mean they are off the radar, not as popular as some other major tourist destinations. However, this doesn’t mean that they are in any way less. The experience you find in these destinations may just move you to give up on the tourist traps and the well-trodden cities in favor of more unknown and less explored destinations.
Does it really matter how many people are visiting a place? Well, we’ve found that it can really color your experience of a city or country if there are more tourists than there are locals. When we visited Toledo, Spain during the height of summer, we could barely tell if we were in a historic town or an amusement park that seemed historic. There were so many tourists that it was nearly impossible to enjoy the charm of this city.
This really makes a difference when it comes to getting into the main attractions. So, if you instead go to a less-known city or country you will really be able to enjoy the area. You can say goodbye to the endless lines and hordes of impatient people all clamming up to get their turn to see the tourist sites. You will also love this because when you are just out and about exploring the area you won’t be surrounded by tourists but instead you will get the real feel of the place because it will be full of locals.
When you interact with people you may have to struggle a little with the language and customs but in the end, it will be a richer experience. For example, when we visited Slovenia we spent a lot of time talking with the locals we met. We were even invited to someone’s home for coffee! Imagine being able to spend time with someone who is happy to share their culture with you! Now that is the travel we like to experience! You feel like you’ve learned something new and have been transformed by the experience.
So think about it, if a place doesn’t have to conform to tourist tastes it won’t have to change just to please a group of people. This affects the food, the events, the way the people behave and much more. Have you ever visited a place hoping to get some authentic, local food? As you walk past restaurant after restaurant you start to wonder what is going on. You only see hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches…you know non-authentic food. This is a classic example of a town losing it’s authenticity as it tries hard to cater to tourist tastes.
Wouldn’t you rather stumble across typical authentic cafes and restaurants serving local food, full of locals? This has the stamp of a good experience just waiting to happen all over it. So when you go to places that aren’t used to having tourists you’ll be more likely to have a more authentic experience not just with the food but also in your interactions with the people you meet. It’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone and experience something new!
If you are looking to save money then going to a lesser-known region will help your pocketbook. Many well-known, frequently visited cities or countries often have higher prices because they receive so many tourists from wealthier countries. Tourism becomes the main pillar of the economy. However, if you visit a lesser-known region where tourism is not the way the city or country supports itself, well, then you’ve hit the jackpot! It’s time to escape the crowds! You are going to have the same experience that the locals do, which means you’ll pay the same price as the locals do as well. You may discover something that you like that the majority of others miss.
So where should you go?
What countries fall into this category of “lesser-known, undiscovered gems”? Where can you go to escape the crowds of tourists? Well Lonely Planet put out a list for next year, here are our favorites from the list:
- Georgia- not the state, the country lol. Drenched in history but moving forward in this modern age, Georgia is waiting to be explored! If you are a wine lover, it’s very proud of its wine culture and you’ll love exploring it!
- Malta- this small island has so much history and is a mix of cultures. It was named the European Capital of Culture for 2018 and there are many reasons why! Plus with almost year-round sunshine and beautiful beaches, this is a place definitely worth exploring!
- Portugal– this is an often overlooked country in Europe but is a destination for those who love food, culture and the arts! From cities to its over 300 beaches, Portugal is a gem waiting to be explored! Go during the off-season for a real crowd-free experience!
- South Korea- looking for a modern city with parks, cafes, and restaurants galore? Then this is the place for you. Plus they will be hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics! How exciting!
There are many others but do some research, think about the things that interest you and find out where you can experience these things in places a bit off the beaten track. Get out there to the undiscovered places because there will be fewer crowds, you’ll have more of an authentic experience and your wallet will thank you in the end. So which country on the list have you visited? Or would you like to visit? Let us know in the comments!